Arkansas, a solid “red” state, which just elected a Republican legislature for the first time since Reconstruction, and which also possesses an ostensibly pro-gun Democratic governor, has apparently begun to suspend the 2nd amendment rights of its citizens.
By state law Arkansas is a “shall issue” state for the issuance of licenses to carry a concealed handgun. That is, so long as a state resident passes a required training course, demonstrates competency with a handgun, and passes a background check, the Arkansas State Police are required, by law, to issue that person a concealed handgun license.
Despite this statutory requirement, the Arkansas State Police are at this time declining to issue new licenses, and, in addition, are declining to renew existing licenses, regardless of whether the applicants/current license holders have met all legal requirements. “Lisa” with the Arkansas State Police concealed handgun license office had advised me that this is due to a “glitch” with their “office supplies.” Yes, that is correct, apparently the Arkansas State Police are out of “office supplies” and as a result have decided not to follow through with the legal responsibility they have to provide these permits. “LIsa” also advised me that current license holders whose licenses expire during this time will no longer allowed to carry a handgun, period. Arkansas state law prohibits the open carry of firearms.
“Lisa” also advised me that her office “hopes” to begin issuing licenses again sometime in the first part of 2013, but was unable to provide me with a firm date as to when this would actually occur. Should you wish to verify this information for yourself, please contact the Arkansas State Police concealed handgun license office at (501) 618-8600. I will provide more information as it becomes available.